Monday, December 28, 2015

Shine a light this season

We all love the end of the year. It's one of those rare periods where we slow down from the busy-ness of everyday life and just chill. This year especially. Ever since Lesley-Anne's 'A' levels ended, the pace seemed to plunge (which is a very good thing!) Even decorating the Christmas tree this year had an extra leisurely feel to it.

One of the activities that our kids absolutely love but can seldom find the time to do so in the hectic school year is Stand Up Paddling (SUP). I blogged about this a couple of years back. The one we go to is the Stand Up Paddling School at Tanjong Beach, Sentosa, run by my very good friend, Isabelle.

Just before Christmas, Isabelle urged us to come by and we jumped at the chance. It was a glorious morning - cool but no rain. In case you're new to SUP, it's a sport where you go on a special type of board and paddle. It's a fantastic overall workout. After a while, my kids were racing each other and trying to topple each other from the board.

Since my kids have been stand up paddling for several sessions, they were ready to try a few more advanced moves. It's all about engaging your core and maintaining your balance!

How about a split?
And when you need a rest, you can even lie down for a bit!

Sharing some tips between siblings, maybe...

Thank you, Isabelle, for that lovely morning out! I am truly grateful for warm and wonderful friends like you.

I hope your Christmas was as bright and joyful as ours!

And as the year draws to a close, here's wishing you and yours a new year that's filled with love and peace. While I hope God's light will shine on you in 2016, it is also my heartfelt wish that you will be a light to someone else. May your days brim over with heartfelt meaning and purpose, and may you bless others with kindness wherever you go.

Blessed 2016!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Hanging loose in Hong Kong

Over the past week, we've been feasting in Hong Kong! This was a reward for completing a hectic year, especially for Lesley-Anne.

We pigged out for five days, from roast goose to suckling pig, beef congee to Peking duck. Check out my travel blog to feast virtually with me! The first post is up, will complete the others over the next few days.

Here's a sneak peek of what we had:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Garden Rhapsody

Last week, we visited the Future of Us exhibition and went to Gardens by the Bay to check out the Christmas displays. Since I'm badly hit by the "it's-the-year-end-and-I-don't-feel-like-doing-anything" bug, this is a low-text post. I'm letting the pictures tell the story. All photos were taken by Lesley-Anne.

Future of Us exhibition. My honest opinion? It's not bad, considering it's free entry, but a little too reminiscent of a "learning journey".

Gardens by the Bay, from dusk to night. The Garden Rhapsody is now on till 3 January 2016. It's free of charge and very picturesque. There's a light and music show daily at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, plus an additional 9:30pm show on Fridays, Saturdays and eve of Public Holidays.

And if you have tickets to the Future of Us, you can enjoy 40% discount on admission to the conservatories.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Art and architecture at the National Gallery

One of the first things we did as a family after Lesley-Anne's 'A' levels was visit the newly opened National Gallery.

Andre thought this was National Geographic-familiar, lol.
The National Gallery houses the Southeast Asian modern art collection but a big part of its appeal to us is that is is housed in the former Supreme Court and City Hall. The architecture of these historic buildings is absolutely gorgeous.

Walkway linking Supreme Court and City Hall
City Hall Chamber
Holding cell for those awaiting trial
Chief Justice's chambers
Rotunda Gallery
There's also a roof garden gallery where you can have possibly one of the best views of Singapore's skyline.

Panoramic shot taken by Lesley-Anne
Oh yes, the art, haha!
One of the earliest uses of batik technique in modern art
This piece caused a minor schism in the OCD segment of our brains.
There were some pretty interesting art installations too.

There was a guard in front of this one. Every time a young child ran into the room, I had a nervous twitch.
If I'm being perfectly honest, I enjoyed the architecture of the National Gallery more than the art. That's not to say the collection isn't impressive - it is. Just that a lot of SE Asian art seems to veer towards gory and nightmare-inducing themes, probably due to the tumultuous history of our region. Aesthetic-wise, not my favourite.

However, the gallery is totally worth a visit. To celebrate its opening, admission is free from now till 6 December, but you have to book tickets as entry is limited to a fixed number of visitors per day.

Enroute to our dinner destination, we walked through Fullerton Hotel, which was all decked out in yuletide glitz.   

Dinner was at Over Easy at One Fullerton where we had an indulgent meal of mac and cheese, burgers, fried chicken and waffles, milkshake, mohito and a plateful of sliders!

The reason Kenneth chose this spot for our dinner was because of the special fireworks display right outside...
...followed by the Marina Bay Sands light show.

'Tis a beautiful city, Singapore.

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